Today's conditions brought to you by the Bush Junta - marionettes of their hyperdimensional puppet masters - Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions.... The "Greatest Shew on Earth," no doubt, and if you don't have a good sense of humor, don't read this page! It is designed to reveal the "unseen."
If you can't stand the heat of Objective Reality, get out of the kitchen!
October 16, 2003
"Disasters involve cycles in the human experiential cycle [...] Human cycle mirrors cycle of catastrophe. Earth benefits in form of periodic cleansing. Time to start paying attention to the signs. They are escalating. They can even be 'felt'by you and others, if you pay attention."
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
-- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 16 April 1953
More insight into Jewish history as more evidence is presented that not only were the Jews persecuted but the truth along with them. The PM of Malaysia makes some remarks about the Jews. What did he say and mean? Well, that depends on the reports you read.
Warning bells are being sounded at the UN about the growing hostility between Islam and the West, as US military engineers try to find more and more creatively deadly ways to kill and maim.
Germany, Russia, and France say they will vote for the US resolution on Iraq to be presented today at the Security Council. We wonder what deals have been made behind the scenes. The US ramps up its anti-Syrian rhetoric.
books document Bush's dyslexia. Readers respond to our request for
Halliburton gouges taxpayers on Iraqi gasoline, while Rummy gets to play with $9 billion of the $87 billion allocated for Iraq.
One asteroid buzzes Earth, and another that was "lost" has been found after 65 years of searching.
Jihad Al Khazen
The funniest remark I read about Bush is his comment about an article that was published in Vanity Fair. The author said that George W. Bush was dyslexic, meaning that he was suffering a disease by which he replaced letters, numbers or words with each other. When the President was asked to comment on this, he confirmed the accusation by denying it; as he said: the woman who claimed I was dyslexic, I never interviewed her.
The reporters, who heard him say "I never interviewed her" instead of "she never interviewed me" as he was leaving the airport in California, said he was not joking.
The two new books are "More George W. Bushisms," meaning Bush's sayings, by Jacob Weisberg, who was recording Bush Sr.'s mistakes in 1990, and the mistakes of the presidential speeches: "The Very Curious Language of George W. Bush," by Robert S. Brown. Both books document every error they record by mentioning the date and place. However, I don't need to repeat all that in this journalistic column, so I choose some of what was written, ranging between scandalous language mistakes that no elementary student would make, and a mess of words resulting from sheer ignorance, as well as meaningless fancy expressions. Hence the following:- I believe that if you want to do something and then don't do it, then you are trustworthy.
- The best way to help families from time to time is taking some of their money.- The most beautiful thing about books is that they have sometimes great pictures… are our children learn… reading are the basis of knowledge… in Texas, high levels were put for schools and I passed them.- (Refusing to answer a question) I will not answer in French, English or Mexican. And for that matter, I know many languages because I speak English, Canadian, American, Australian and New Zealander… in addition to Lebanese, Syrian and Egyptian…
- This is how presidents speak.
- Whether things are good or bad, the president is the one to blame.
- I have no doubt, I don't doubt at all that we are going to fail.
- I am alert to keep the executive authority for myself, and for those who preceded me as well.
- Hence, in my speech on the State, my speech on the State of the Union, or the nation, on the Union, on the State of the Union, or whatever you want to call it…
- (Commenting on Al Gore's tax plan) It needs many IRA agents, which is supposed to be IRS, as the IRA represents the initials of the (terrorist) Irish Republican Army, whereas the IRS means the American tax department.
- I realized that the common thing between expectations is beyond what we had expected.
- If you are expelled from your work then you are 100% unemployed, and that worries me.
- We need to understand that in order to build power plants in California, we need more power to build them.
- The most important thing in the world is to remember the most important things.
Letters from Readers
Yesterday we asked American readers the following:
The responses from readers have started to come in. Please continue.
Reporting on Criticism of the Jews
Read the following two article, one from the BBC, the other from Al Jazeera. Compare the messages the two articles, reporting on the same event, a speech by outgoing Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at the Organization of Islamic Conference, are trying to get across.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has called on Muslims to use brains as well as brawn to fight Jews who "rule the world".
However, Dr Mahathir also called on Muslims to build their military might.
"The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy... 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews," he said, speaking at the opening of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in the Malaysian administrative capital Putrajaya.
Dr Mahathir, who is renowned for using such conferences to make scathing attacks on the West, bows out as prime minister in a week's time after a 22-year rule.
[...] But Dr Mahathir's comments were uncompromising.
"This tiny [Jewish] community has become a world power. We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains as well," the prime minister said.
He said that 50 years of fighting had only worsened the situation for Palestinians and urged engagement in negotiations.
"The Koran tells us that when the enemy sues for peace we must react positively. True the treaty offered to us is not favourable. But we can negotiate - the Prophet did," he said.
However, he also urged Muslims to match their religious studies with mathematics and science, because "we need guns and rockets, bombs and warplanes, tanks and warships for our defence".
He told the conference that Jewish "arrogance" meant that they would "forget to think".
"They are already beginning to make mistakes. And they will make more mistakes. There may be windows of opportunity for us now and in the future. We must seize these opportunities," he said.
Thursday 16 October 2003, 9:36 Makka Time, 6:36 GMT
Malaysia's prime minister has urged Muslims to start using brains rather than brawn against Israel.
Mahathir Muhammad told the Organisation of Islamic Conference summit on Thursday this was the only way to reverse 50 years of bitter defeat.
Mahathir told delegates the Jewish people, because of their relationship with the United States, had an influence in the world that far outweighed their numbers.
"It cannot be that there is no other way - 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews," he said in an address in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
He added: "The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy.
"They have survived 2000 years of pogroms not by hitting back but by thinking."
Developing his theme, he said Israelis were becoming too arrogant. "Arrogant people, like angry people, will make mistakes, forget to think.
"This tiny community have become a world power. We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains as well."
However, Mahathir controversially appeared to suggest it was time for an end to violence against the Israelis.
"Over the past 50 years of fighting in Palestine we have not achieved any result. We have in fact worsened our situation," he said.
"The Quran tells us that when the enemy sues for peace we must react positively. True, the treaty offered to us is not favourable. But we can negotiate. The Prophet did... And in the end he triumphed."
Last year, Mahathir, to the chagrin of Arab OIC members, declared Palestinian human bombers who attacked civilian targets as "terrorists" along with the Israeli state.
He said he was aware this proposal would not be popular and its opponents "would want to send more young men and women to make the supreme sacrifice. But where will all these lead to? Certainly not victory".
Acknowledging weakness and division in the organisation's ranks, Mahathir said they could at least take a common stand on the Palestinian struggle against Israel.
He added it was time to plan a "counter-attack" against the enemies of Islam who treated Muslims with "contempt and dishonour".
Comment: Notice how the BBC article makes no mention that Mahathir was suggesting making peace with Israel and that he had called suicide bombers "terrorists" the year before. Notice how the BBC doesn't put his remarks about Jews running the world in the context of the alliance Israel has with the United States.
The only way, it appears, to know what he really said would be to read the entire speech. It may show up here. The following short summaries from the German press and Australian gives another view.
Muslims to use brains not blood against
Malaysia's prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has opened a Muslim leaders' summit with a call to Muslims to start using brains, rather than brawn, against Israel.
The two-day Organisation of the Islamic Conference (the OIC) leaders' summit opened in the Malaysian city of Putrajaya today.
Dr Mahathir has told delegates that the Jewish people, because of their relationship with the United States, have an influence in the world that far outweighs their numbers.
He has called on Muslims to emulate the Jewish response to oppression, saying the Jews had "survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking".
"This tiny community have become a world power. We cannot fight them through brawn alone. We must use our brains as well," he said.
Review of Lenni Brenner's book, "51 Documents: Zionist
Collaboration with the Nazis"
History can be deceptive. It’s fair to say that some of the sensational never-published-before documents, in this book, will shock those who have accepted Zionism and its supposed history, at face value, as a political movement that was the hope of the Jews. Lenni Brenner, the intrepid author of "Zionism in the Age of Dictators," reveals disturbing new evidence in his latest effort, that suggest just the opposite. In fact, he makes a compelling case that the Zionist record was "dishonorable." You can consider this excellent tome as a worthy sequel to his first expose’ on the myopic Zionist zealots of that bygone era.
For openers, Brenner showed how the Zionists had a long history of shameless cooperation with the Nazis, especially after the dictator Adolph Hitler had came to power in 1933. The Zionists were also in bed, to some extent, with the other members of what later became known as WWII’s "Axis of Evil," that included Benito Mussolini’s Italy, and Tojo Hideki’s Japan. For example, on March 29,1936, Zionists praised Il Duce, and his regime, at the opening of a maritime school, funded by the Fascist government, at Civitavecchia. This is where a Zionist youth group, the "Betar," trained its sailors for the future Revisionist state. The speakers ignored the fact that on Oct. 3, 1935, Italian troops had invaded Abyssinia.
On another front, the "Third Congress of the Jewish Community of the Far East," was held in Jan., 1940, in Harbin, Manchuria, then reeling under a brutal military occupation by the Japanese imperial forces. At that time, too, Tokyo was already aligned with Hitler and Italy’s Mussolini, in the notorious Anti-Comintern Pact. Also, keep in mind, that the Japanese’s murderous "Rape of Nanking," had occurred in Dec., 1937, and the "Crystal Night" incident on Nov. 9, 1938. Nevertheless, the Zionist confab went out of its way to legitimize the Japanese occupation by certifying it as a guarantor of the "equality of all citizens," in that beleaguered land.
The Zionist also had a trade plan with the Berlin government by which German Jews could redeem their property in Nazi goods exported to then British-occupied Palestine. And to top it all off, the infamous SS-Hptscharf. Adolf Eichmann, had visited Palestine, in October, 1937, as the guest of the Zionists. He also met, in Egypt, with Feivel Polkes, a Zionist operative, whom Eichmann described as a "leading Haganah functionary." The chain-smoking Polkes was also on the Nazis’ payroll "as an informer."[...]
After the Holocaust began in 1942, Eichmann dealt regularly with Dr. Rudolf Kastner, a Hungarian Jew, whom he considered a "fanatical Zionist." Kastner was later assassinated in Israel as a Nazi collaborator. At issue then, however, was the bargaining over the eventual fate of Hungary’s Jews, who were slated for liquidation in the Nazi-run death camps. Eichmann said this about Kastner, the Zionist representative, "I believe that [he] would have sacrificed a thousand or a hundred thousand of his blood to achieve his political goal. He was not interested in old Jews or those who had become assimilated into Hungarian society. ‘You can have the others,’ he would say, ‘but let me have this group here.’ And because Kastner rendered us a great service by helping keep the deportation camps peaceful. I would let his groups escape."
Readers, too, will be surprised to learn, that after the Nuremberg Anti-Jewish Race Laws were enacted in Sept., 1935, that there were only two flags that were permitted to be displayed in all of Nazi Germany. One was Hitler’s favorite, the Swastika. The other was the blue and white banner of Zionism. The Zionists were also allowed to publish their own newspaper. The reasons for this Reich-sponsored favoritism was, according to the author: The Zionists and the Nazis had a common interest, making German Jews emigrate to Palestine.
As early as June 21, 1933, the German Zionist Federation was sending a secret memorandum to the Nazis, which said, in part:
"It is our opinion that an answer to the Jewish question truly satisfying to the national state [German Reich] can be brought about only with the collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims as a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry- -indeed, that such a national renewal must first create the decisive social and spiritual premises for all solutions..."
Incredibly, Avraham Stern, the leader of the notorious "Stern Gang," late in 1940, made a written proposal to Hitler, by which the Jewish militias in Palestine, would fight on "Germany’s side," in the war against England, in exchange for the Nazis help in resolving the "Jewish Question" in Europe, and their assistance in creating an "historic Jewish state." By this date, German troops had already marched into Prague, invaded Poland, and had built the first concentration camp at Auschwitz. The deranged Stern had further bragged about how the Zionist organizations were "closely related to the totalitarian movements of Europe in [their] ideology and structure." Stern’s obscene proposal was found in the German embassy, in Turkey, after WWII.
Finally, I think Brenner was right, when he wrote, "This book presents 51 historic documents to indict Zionism for repeated attempts to collaborate with Adolf Hitler. The evidence, not I, will convince you of the truth of this issue...Exposing the Zionist role in the [Nazi] era is part of the scrutiny of the past, required of historians." [...]
Comment: This issue needs serious consideration and investigation. There is growing evidence to suggest that there has been a gross misrepresentation of the roles of Jewish and Zionist leaders in the history of the Jewish people.
Commensurate with the overwhelming efforts which Jewish lobby groups make to promote the "official" version of events, and demand that all accept it as such, there exists the need for the wide dissemination of the truth about the apparent "setup" that is unraveling before our eyes in the Middle East.
Day by day we see the continued push to further exacerbate an already volatile situation, with the apparent goal of embroiling the world in a conflict from which there may be no return, and it is the extreme fundamentalist Jewish 'leaders,' seen and unseen, that are at the helm.
Thursday 16 October 2003, 10:41 Makka Time, 7:41 GMT
Two major Palestinian resistance groups have denied involvement in a blast which killed three American security guards and injured another in the Gaza Strip.
Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad distanced themselves from the roadside explosion which devastated a diplomatic convoy in Beit Hanun on Wednesday morning.
An armed group calling itself the Popular Resistance Committees denied any responsibility for the deadly attack after AFP said it recieved a call from a member of the group saying it carried it out.
Palestinian President, Yasir Arafat, condemned the attack as an "ugly crime", and said he had ordered an investigation.
Philip Agee, author of "Inside the Company: CIA Diary," wrote this piece for the Los Angeles Times.
The current brouhaha over the outing of an undercover CIA officer brings to mind vivid memories and comic ironies. The 1982 law that now threatens Karl Rove, or whoever it was who leaked the officer's name, is the Intelligence Identities Protection Act - and it was adopted to silence me.
I was a CIA agent for 11 years in Latin America, but I quit in 1969 and wrote a book that told the true story of my life in the agency.
In the 1970s, some colleagues and I followed up with a campaign of "guerrilla journalism" to expose the CIA's operations and personnel around the world because we thought we could combat the agency's role in support of so many murderous dictatorships at that time, including those in Vietnam, Greece, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which makes it a felony to expose a covert intelligence agent, was designed to stop us.
Here's the first irony: It was President George H.W. Bush who fought to get that law passed as CIA director in 1976-1977 and later as vice president.
To justify the law's restriction of amendment rights, Bush the elder and other CIA officials repeated the same lie many times over: That by publicly identifying Richard Welch, the CIA chief in Athens who was assassinated by terrorists in December 1975, I was responsible for his death.
Bush repeated that lie long after Congress passed the law, during his term as president and even afterward. His wife, Barbara, also repeated it in her 1994 autobiography - and I sued her for libel. As part of the legal settlement, she sent me a letter of apology containing the admission that I had not identified Welch.
In fact, I'd never met Welch, didn't know he was in Athens, and had never published his name or given it to anyone.
But Bush's campaign in the 1970s was effective. While he was CIA director, the agency worked with friendly intelligence services in Europe to label me, at different times, a security threat, a defector and a Soviet or Cuban agent, and they succeeded in having me expelled from five NATO countries.
Fast-forward to today. The son of George and Barbara is now a sitting American president with a harsh, neo-imperialist agenda, including waging war to ensure U.S. control of Middle East oil.
In order to sell this war of choice as a war of necessity, the younger Bush concocts a pack of lies. But when former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV pokes a small hole in Bush's farrago of justifications, someone in the White House outs Wilson's wife as a CIA officer in retaliation, a clear attempt to ruin her career.
One has to wonder what Papa Bush thinks of this clear violation of his law in his own son's office.
In order to sell this war of choice as a war of necessity, the younger Bush concocts a pack of lies. But when former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV pokes a small hole in Bush's farrago of justifications, someone in the White House outs Wilson's wife as a CIA officer in retaliation, a clear attempt to ruin her career.
One has to wonder what Papa Bush thinks of this clear violation of his law in his own son's office.
We were right in exposing the CIA in the 1970s because the agency was being used to impose a criminal U.S. policy.
Today I continue to believe that the agency's operations should be exposed in places like Venezuela, where it is doubtless working overtime to organize and support the forces bent on overthrowing the twice-elected President Hugo Chavez. His apparent crime is to develop programs that will finally bring the benefit of that country's fabulous oil wealth to the common people.
But instead of that appropriate kind of exposure, U.S. intelligence officers are being outed, and the law violated. It would be outrageous if it turned out that the outers are part of the Bush administration, and the exposure part of a cheap political tactic to punish an enemy and maintain support for a dishonest and indefensible war.
The ironies are depressing.
I am writing this article here, because I am embarrassed as a conservative to be associated with the neoconservatives that are running our country at the present. Neo-nazi might be a better description. Now you know my agenda here. To defend conservatism and disassociate it from these hacks who occupy the White House and some (not all) in Congress. [...]
Did you know that the Arab oil nations have gold-backed currency? I didn't know that. If your going to globalize an economy you must get rid of the secured and gold back currencies out there. Also you can't have nations without debt. It won't shore up the bogus currencies markets we have internationally. So, what happened when the IMF and world bank came in? They immediately shipped the gold out and set up a "reserve note" system of currency. In addition, the Iraqi so called government has now BORROWED money to operate and rebuild and all of that along with the US sending billions in deficit ridden tax payer hard earned dollars. (My conservatism showing here). Who is the recipient of these dollars? Halliburton oil, who still pays Cheney monthly income into a blind trust, hahahaha. Like we don't know where the money is coming from. Then there is Beuchtel Corporation who is owned in part by the Bin Laden Family. Again, I digress! [...]
Comment: The U.S.A. is in such a state of fascism, that Americans feel compelled to use a pseudonym when sharing their research and views regarding the Bush Reich. Not just to to protect themselves from the alphabet agencies, but also from the psychopaths who are eager supporters of the fascist state, and are Bush's willing executioners.
Space set to become
war zone, warns US general
"In my view it will not be long before space becomes a battleground," Lieutenant General Edward Anderson, deputy commander of US Northern Command, said in response to a question at a geospatial intelligence conference in New Orleans.
"Our military forces ... depend very, very heavily on space capabilities, and so that is a statement of the obvious to our potential threat, whoever that may be," he said.
"They can see that one of the ways that they can certainly diminish our capabilities will be to attack the space systems," said Anderson, who was formerly with US Space Command.
"Now how they do that and who that's going to be I can't tell you in this audience," he said at the unclassified conference.
The United States operates spy satellites in space.
Earlier in the day, Rich Haver, former special assistant for intelligence to Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, said he expected battles in space within the next two decades.
believe space is the place we will fight in the next 20 years,"
said Haver, now vice president for intelligence strategy at
Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. [...]
By John O'Callaghan
MANILA (Reuters) - The most powerful man in the world can expect a warm Filipino welcome, fiery protests and a hastily beautified capital trying to hide some of Asia's worst slums.
The flying eight-hour visit by President Bush on Saturday will be packed with meetings and speeches celebrating more than a century of iron-clad ties and Manila's more recent role as a key ally in the war against Islamic militancy.
Comment: More protest photos can be found here. The protests seem centered on Bush, and not Americans in general. They are not protesting because they "hate our freedoms."
(CBS) In the run-up to the war in Iraq, one moment seemed to be a turning point: the day Secretary of State Colin Powell went to the United Nations to make the case for the invasion.
Millions of people watched as he laid out the evidence and reached a damning conclusion -- that Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction.
Correspondent Scott Pelley has an interview with Greg Thielmann, a former expert on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Thielmann, a foreign-service officer for 25 years, now says that key evidence in the speech was misrepresented and the public was deceived. [...]
Comment: So why does he wait until now to reveal this information after at least 10,000 civilians have died, and at least one U.S. soldier a day dies?
Halliburton overcharging for gasoline in
Henry Waxman of California and John Dingell of Michigan complained to the Bush administration that Halliburton's KBR subsidiary is billing the Army between $1.62 (U.S.) and $1.70 per gallon, while the average price for Middle East gasoline is 71 cents.
They also complained that Iraqis are charged between 4 cents and 15 cents at the pump for the imported gasoline.
“Although Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, the U.S. taxpayer is, in effect, subsidizing over 90 per cent of the cost of gasoline sold in Iraq,” the lawmakers said in the latest Democratic attacks against the Houston company that received a no-bid contract. [...]
October 16, 2003
WASHINGTON -- Defying President Bush's desire to aid Iraq with outright grants, a group of moderate and conservative Senate Republicans struck a deal with Democrats on Wednesday that would make $10 billion in Iraqi aid into a loan.
The money would be part of an $87 billion spending package that includes $67 billion for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and a total of $20 billion for Iraq's reconstruction.
deal came together despite lobbying from the president and top
members of his administration.
The deal would split the $20 billion for Iraq's reconstruction in half. Half would be a grant, available immediately. The other half would be given as a loan next year, which would be forgiven if other foreign countries that are holding Iraqi IOUs waived repayment of their loans.
"We're just trying to strengthen the president's hand," said Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., one of eight to 10 Republicans who are prepared to support the proposal.
Supporters said they were confident they would have the votes to pass the deal on the Senate floor. But Bush and Republican congressional leaders still would have several shots at killing the loan plan.
By Fred Kaplan
10/10/03: (Slate) For all the debate over President Bush's $87 billion supplemental request for military operations and economic reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq, no one seems to have noticed that the sum includes a slush fund of at least $9.3 billion, which Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld can spend pretty much as he pleases.
Last week, the congressional armed services committees—and this week the House Appropriations Committee—marked up the supplemental, excising a few hundred million that Bush had requested for new hospitals, housing, and sanitation. But the committees didn't touch a nickel of the slush fund—and there's a cravenly wink-and-nudge reason why they didn't.
Most of the supplemental request is fairly straightforward: $32 billion to maintain the tempo of military operations, $18 billion for military personnel, $5.1 billion for security and a new Iraqi army, $5.7 billion for electrical power, and so forth.
But deep within, the document proposes the following allowance:
Not less than $1.4 billion, to remain available until expended, may be used, notwithstanding any other provision of law, for payments to reimburse Pakistan, Jordan, and other key cooperating nations, for logistics, military and other support provided, or to be provided, to United States military operations.
First, look closely at those first three words: Not less than. In other words, Rumsfeld could transfer more than $1.4 billion for this purpose—how much more, who can say? The section goes on to say that Rumsfeld must notify the appropriate congressional committees whenever he uses any of this money, and that the payments must be made with the concurrence of the secretary of state. But otherwise, the bill emphasizes that he alone determines how to spend this money "and such determination is final and conclusive."
Another section, subtitled the "Iraq Freedom Fund," states that the secretary of defense can transfer $1,988,600,000 from one part of the overall $87 billion supplemental to any other part, again, as long as he notifies the committees when he does this. (As with the previous allowance, the committees appear to have no power to disapprove these transfers.)
Still another section reads:
Upon his determination that such action is necessary in the national interest, the Secretary of Defense may transfer between appropriations up to $5 billion of the funds made available in this title.
Again, he "shall notify the Congress promptly of each transfer."
Another section gives Rumsfeld authority to "transfer not more than $500 million of the funds appropriated in this title to the contingency construction account … to carry out military construction projects not otherwise authorized by law." So much for pulling in the reins on Halliburton and Bechtel.
Then there is this section:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, from funds available to the Department of Defense for Operations and Maintenance in fiscal year 2004, not to exceed $200 million may be used by the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to provide assistance to military forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other friendly nearby regional nations to enhance their capability to combat terrorism and to support U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Egregious syntax makes this one a little hard to follow, but maybe that's because the leeway it allows is quite a bit broader than in the other sections. It gives Rumsfeld the power not merely to transfer funds within the $87 billion, but to transfer up to $200 million from the Pentagon's entire operations and maintenance budget—in other words, from programs that have nothing to do with Iraq, Afghanistan, or terrorism.
Finally, the president has a little slush fund, too. One section notes that he may transfer "any appropriation made available in this title," as long as it does "not exceed $200 million."
Add them all up: $9.3 billion—11 percent of the entire, already-controversial sum (and that doesn't include the expandable loophole provided by the "not less than" clause). [...]
BAGHDAD, Oct 15: Several people were killed by US troops after infiltrating Iraq from Syria and shooting at a US helicopter, forcing it to land but causing no casualties, US officials said on Wednesday.
"Soldiers engaged a small number of people who infiltrated from the border," a coalition spokesman said. "Some were killed, others detained," he said, adding that small arms and rocket-propelled grenades were seized.
During the operation, a OH-58 reconnaissance helicopter took small arms fire that damaged a hydraulic pump forcing the pilot to land, the spokesman said.
Another official said there were no US injuries in Tuesday night's incident near Husaybah, about 360kms northwest of Baghdad.
Is it possible to say that George W. Bush, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Moqtada Al Sadr are affiliated to one 'party' whose objective is, regardless of the rhetoric, to fragment Iraq?
Thursday 16 October 2003, 9:41 Makka Time, 6:41 GMT
Syria has been dealt a huge blow by American politicians from the House of Representatives who voted 398-4 to impose sanctions.
The US House of Representatives blames its near unanimous decision to sanction Syria on the country's alleged ties to armed groups and purported efforts to obtain nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
The legislation, the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Act, also calls on Damascus to end its occupation of Lebanon.
United States president, George Bush, last week ended two years of opposition to the legislation, and has indicated he will sign it.
The legislation gives the White House a range of options for sanctioning Syria, from restricting US exports and business investment to downgrading Washington's diplomatic representation and imposing travel restrictions on Syrian diplomats in the US.
"I think that this bill is crucial to the ongoing war on terror," said House majority leader, Tom DeLay, at a press briefing on Wednesday.
"Syria has evidently chosen to side with the terrorists in this war and it's time for the government to start feeling the consequences of their actions," DeLay said.
"Terrorist states will not be tolerated," the Texas Republican said, adding "Congress has a responsibility to make Syria understand the recklessness of its actions."
Comment: Recall that DeLay was recently in Israel giving his complete support to the butcher Sharon.
FLASHBACK! Signs of the Times - July 31, 2003
UNITED NATIONS Oct 16
Pakistan emphasized the inadmissibility of the policy of State terrorism and any actions by States aimed at undermining the socio-political system in other sovereign states.
Pakistan delegate Akram Zaki told the world body that the inalienable right of peoples to determine their own destiny and the course of their development was clearly reaffirmed in situations and disputes such as Palestine and Kashmir. He was addressing the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly dealing with legal matters on its Agenda Item 156 focusing on 'measures to eliminate international terrorism.'
Anthony Harwood US Editor, New York
COLIN POWELL misled the world about the threat posed by Iraq, a former weapons expert claimed yesterday.
The US Secretary of State's speech to the United Nations this year was "probably one of the low points" of his career, said Greg Thielmann.
At the time Iraq did not pose a threat to anyone, not even its neighbours.
But officials "cherrypicked" intelligence to fit America's decision - already taken - to go to war, he claimed.
Mr Thielmann, retired State Department expert on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, told CBS TV's 60 Minutes programme: "They were cherrypicking the information that we provided to use whatever pieces of it fitted their overall interpretation." He added: "The main problem was that senior administration officials ... knew what they wanted the intelligence to show. They were really blind and deaf to any kind of countervailing information the intelligence community would produce.
"I would assign some blame to the intelligence community and most of the blame to senior ad-ministration officials."
Mr Powell's speech - in which he dramatically produced a vial to demonstrate how even a little anthrax could terrorise a population - was greeted with howls of derision from weapons inspectors in Iraq who watched it on TV, the programme was told.
[...] British born Steve Allinson, a team leader with the UN chemical inspection group, said: "People would laugh at times because the information he was presenting just didn't mean anything - had no meaning."
He said they turned to each other after watching Mr Powell and said: "They have nothing." Mr Allinson said he is convinced that Iraq does not have any banned weapons.
Once he was sent to find suspected "decontamination vehicles" - they turned out to be fire engines.
Another time inspectors were told a satellite may have spotted refrigerated lorries used for biological weapons. "We found seven or eight trucks and they had cobwebs in them. Samples were taken and nothing found."
October 16, 2003
Even though seven million Iraqis are unemployed1, U.S. sub-contractors are rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure with cheap migrant labor from South Asia.2 The use of Asian laborers is at odds with President Bush's emphasis on the importance of Iraqis taking on the job themselves.
PUTRAJAYA, Oct 16
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan warned today of rising hostility between Islam and the West, describing it as "ugly, dangerous and wrong". In a statement to the opening of a summit of the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Annan said Western governments must address the grievances of Muslims, while Islamic states needed to make greater efforts to overcome their problems. He said he hoped to see Christians and Muslims reconciling in Sudan and perhaps Cyprus.
Six killed in Valley (Disputed Kashmir)
SRINAGAR, Oct 15: Two Indian soldiers, three Mujahideen and a civilian were killed and 17 other people injured in Kashmir violence, police said on Wednesday.
Freedom fighters ambushed an army patrol late on Tuesday in the village of Chontimulla, about 60 kilometers north of Srinagar, killing a soldier and injuring five others, police said.
Army reinforcements were dispatched to the village, sealed it off and conducted house-to-house searches for the attackers.
A Kashmiri group, Al Mansoorain, claimed responsibility for the attack, a local news agency said.
In another overnight incident, nine civilians and two Indian soldiers were injured in a landmine explosion triggered by suspected Kashmiris in Kupwara district, police said.
"The mine buried under soil was apparently planted to target an army patrol," a police spokesman said, adding that two of the injured civilians were in a serious condition.
Meanwhile, BSF personnel shot dead a militant in the Tral area of the southern Pulwama district overnight, police said. Indian troops shot dead two more Mujahideen in the districts of Baramulla and Rajouri overnight and on Wednesday, police said.
Police said suspected freedom fighters beat to death a civilian Kala Gujjar in Deeda forests of southern Udhampur district overnight, while an Indian army soldier injured in a rocket attack in the same district on Monday died in military hospital on Wednesday.
06:53 AM EDT Oct 16
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Russian UN Ambassador Sergey Lavrov asked for voting on a U.S. Security Council resolution on Iraq to be postponed until Thursday so the leaders of France, Russia and Germany could discuss the final draft and decide whether or not to support it.
[...] Russian President Vladimir Putin had scheduled a teleconference at 6 a.m. EDT Thursday with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Lavrov said.
Because of this, he said, "we cannot vote tonight - I hope this is understood."
The U.S.-backed resolution had been expected to win at least the minimum nine "yes" votes needed for adoption. With the Pakistani and Chinese support, only the votes of Russia, France, Germany and Syria appeared to be in doubt.
The possibility of advancing the Franco-German axis a step forward has long been a subject of discussion in the two countries. Their close partnership has been tried and tested with success, regardless of the domestic political situation in the two states. Many daring proposals have been made about the future shape of the alliance, but none has been implemented so far. This is, first, due to institutional problems and, second, because neither Paris nor Berlin would want to provoke other European Union members.
Their political will, however, was made public in a highly symbolic gesture: Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder announced yesterday that he will not be present at this week’s EU summit in Brussels. Most crucially, Schroeder asked French President Jacques Chirac to act on Germany’s behalf on the second day of the summit on Friday. The two states have chosen this special way to express their determination to proceed hand in hand, functioning as the motor of European integration.
The message has been sent in all directions but primarily to the United States and those EU member countries — both new and old — that tend to fall in line with Washington’s policies. The underlying issue, of course, is whether Europe will rise to the status of equal partner with the US or whether it will continue to play the role of a small, obedient ally.
EU leaders start
Approves New Afghan Troop Deployment
The meeting, which followed Monday’s extension of the United Nation’s mandate for the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF, resulted in Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s coalition government approving a plan to deploy 230-450 soldiers on a peacekeeping mission on the ground in northern Afghanistan.
LE MONDE | 15.10.03 | 14h01 • MIS A JOUR LE 15.10.03 | 17h27
Un arsenal de mesures punitives vise à réprimer les "comportements antisociaux".
Comment: This article from Le Monde essentially says that Blair is asking the Brits not to do at home what they are being paid to do in Iraq.
Posters featuring ‘murderer’ US Secretary of State Colin Powell adorn a central Athens wall yesterday. Left-wing and peace groups have called for demonstrations to mark Powell’s putative visit to Athens next week. Greece has said he will come on Wednesday, but Washington has yet to confirm this. Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is due in Athens on Tuesday.
election in Azerbaijan denounced by
BAKU, Azerbaijan - Rioting protesters clashed with police in the Azerbaijani capital Thursday after Ilham Aliev was elected to succeed his father as president. Observers said the vote was marred by fraud.
Thousands of opposition supporters marched through Baku, smashing cars and shop windows. Government forces beat protesters and journalists with rubber truncheons. [...]
Islamabad |By Shahid Hussain | 16-10-2003
A top Al Qaida leader is believed to have died in a recent operation launched by the Pakistani army in the northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said yesterday.
"We cannot disclose his name until we reach a conclusion but we believe he was among around a score of Al Qaida figures who are on the FBI list of most wanted people," Sheikh Rashid told Gulf News.
| Special to Gulf News | 16-10-2003
The failure of Washington's promise to install an inherently new form of ruling structure in Afghanistan appears clearly in sight, thanks to the re-emergence of the Taliban movement - now fully in form to confront troops from the US military and the beleaguered Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai.
Months after the first reports suggested that remnants of the
Taliban movement were returning to agitate, their activism in the
form of frequent attacks on US and Afghan troops with increased
vigour is an all too obvious reminder which confirms their
Oct. 15, 2003
Wives and children stole the cows and looted the huts of people they knew or once played with. Husbands and fathers with machetes and rifles slaughtered the weakest of the weak, mostly children, pregnant women and the elderly.
The massacre of some 65 Hemas at this and three other villages last week was just another spree in the ethnic violence in Ituri province, where an estimated 50,000 people have been killed since civil war broke out in August 1998.
this time, the much-criticized United Nations peacekeeping force is
responding by changing tactics in its effort to stop the slaughter.
On Thursday, blue-helmeted U.N. troops are scheduled for the first
time ever to begin patrolling the hamlets of Ituri, armed with a
stronger mandate and tougher rules of engagement. [...]
Oct. 16, 2003
SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea said Thursday it would "physically display its nuclear deterrent force," South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.
The remark by an unnamed spokesman of North Korea's Foreign Ministry could be an indication that the communist regime intends to test a nuclear bomb.
"When the time comes, the DPRK will take steps to physically display its nuclear deterrent force," the North Korean spokesman told Pyongyang's state-run news agency KCNA, which was monitored by the South Korean agency.[...]
"When the time comes a measure will be taken to physically disclose the nuclear deterrent," a foreign ministry spokesman told Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
The spokesman declined to elaborate on the measure North Korea was considering, according to the KCNA report, monitored here by South Korea's Yonhap news.
(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.) - Juan Castillo just came home from war. Now he is going back.
For the last 14 days, Specialist Castillo, a 21-year-old artilleryman, has been trying to savor each kiss from his wife, each minute with the baby, each inch of his bed and each sip of Mountain Dew.
But it has not been easy. Happiness is endless happiness, and it is hard to really enjoy 15 days off from the occupation of Iraq when you know war is back there waiting for you and your vacation is basically a bittersweet countdown. [...]
As the night petered out and the guests hugged Specialist Castillo goodbye, the chain of emotions came to an end: anticipation, celebration, contemplation and now just dread.
"I hate it over there, I hate it," Specialist Castillo said.
But then he caught himself.
"I shouldn't be
complaining," Specialist Castillo said. "The Army can't keep me
Two jet fighters crash (USA)
The pilots were in good condition, said Capt. Don Caetano, public affairs officer for the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station, where the planes were based.
"They were conducting routine training and they had a mishap," Caetano said.
Caetano said it was too early to know if the planes, F/A-18A fighters, might have clipped each other in the air. An investigation has been launched
Spc. Bill Putnam
Although those lasers and force fields won't be fielded for a few more years, Gus Khalil, an engineer at the Army's Tank and Automotive Command in Dearborn, Mich., said the Army has identified what they want for the Army's Future Combat System.
"There's a lot more demands for the FCS vehicle than there are for the legacy force today," he said. "Anything we do today that gives the soldiers less capability than he has is unacceptable."
That technology is being developed for the Army's Future Combat System, the family of 16 manned, unmanned, ground and aerial vehicles the Army wants fielded by 2010.
The manned ground vehicles have to weigh less than 20 tones. They also have to be as fast, as mobile and as lethal as an M-1A2 Abrams and M2 Bradley fighting vehicle.
Doing all that will be like making a Toyota truck as durable as an 18-wheel semi-truck, one TARDECE engineer quipped at a recent FCS conference in Dearborn, Mich.
But it is doable Khalil said. To demonstrate that, Khalil had a mock-up of the laser gun system at the Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Oct. 6-8.
The gun program falls under the Combat Hybrid Power System. Initiated by DARPA six years ago and handed over to TARDEC two years ago, the program is developing the FCS' "pulsed power" weapons.
Since the system is just being developed, the weapons could be Electro-thermal Chemical guns or even a laser gun capable of firing artillery rounds or destroying tanks, he said.
The mock up showed how TARDEC wants the system to work. On one end was a pack of three lithium-ion battery modules. When it was "fired" it went through a converter that increased the charge from 100 volts to 1,000 volts.
From there it goes to the pulse-forming network, a nest of capacitors and inductors, where the now 1,000 volts will be turned into a "pulse discharge" that will last less than one-millionth of a second, he said.
From there the pulse of electricity goes through an out-put switch that will fire the pulse to its intended target, Khalil said.
The pulse was demonstrated through a bank of four strobe lights. If someone wasn't careful the lights could burn holes in their retinas, he said.
Khalil said tests have shown that 600-volts to 10,000-volts weapons are possible. And that's what they're forecasting to be in the FCS, Khalil said.
Horrifying US Secret Weapon Unleashed In
Manning, USA TODAY
Less than a year after President Bush announced a smallpox vaccination plan to protect Americans in the event of a terrorist attack, a fraction of the expected number of health workers have been immunized and the much ballyhooed program is dead in the water.
Federal health officials say they're not ready to declare the program dead, but they readily acknowledge it's ailing.
"The fact is, it's ceased," says Ray Strikas of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "not that anyone's issued an edict to say stop." [...]
Earlier in the week, he told USA TODAY that the pace of new vaccinations dropped dramatically in April after well-publicized reports of unexpected heart problems associated with the vaccine. At the peak, hundreds of health workers were vaccinated. Now, it's down to "a few per week." [...]
Wed Oct 15,11:38 AM ET
MECHANICSBURG, Pa. - A battery-powered mosquito trap placed in a public park was mistaken for a potential bomb and caused a four-hour uproar Tuesday that included halting railroad traffic and rushing in bomb experts.
The scare came a day after industrial-grade explosives were reported stolen from a North Middleton Township explosives dealer. [...]
The fact the Miranda and Fourth Amendment cases that reach the Supreme Court almost always involve people convicted of crimes might give the impression that the decisions only matter to criminals, but that is a misreading, University of Pennsylvania Law School professor David Rudovsky said.
"It is a very shortsighted view, because in many other cases people are innocent and their rights are violated," he said. "It's just too easy to say if later we find out the person is guilty, what do we care how we get there."
"You have to have a society in which the least of us are protected so that all of us are protected," University of Pittsburgh Law School professor Sandra Jordan said. [...]
Judge Orders Nebraska Man Speak English, Not Spanish, to His Daughter or Face Limited Visits
Spiegel and James Blitz
Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, raised the issue in a meeting with Britain's Geoff Hoon at the informal gathering of Nato defence ministers last week in Colorado. Condoleezza Rice, White House national security adviser, has telephoned Sir Nigel Scheinwald, Mr Blair's chief foreign policy aide, to express her concern.
"There is no sense of crisis between London and Washington over this," said a senior Bush administration official. "But there is a sense of real confusion and real concern. For the US, the issue of Nato's primacy in Europe is of real importance to us. We have made that clear." [...]
'Let's see what they're trying to hide' - Goldring
ISLANDVIEW, N.B. -- A Canadian Alliance MP came to the scene of one of Canada's most notorious cases of child sexual abuse yesterday and promised to push federal authorities for an inquiry into the scandal of New Brunswick's Kingsclear Youth Training Centre. [...]
October 16, 2003 05:45 AM ET
Speaking to reporters after a meeting in Tehran with Iran's Supreme National Security Council chief Hassan Rohani, ElBaradei said: "I was assured by Dr Rohani that the Islamic Republic of Iran will clarify all the outstanding issues for us to be able to verify all aspects of Iran's nuclear activities."
The Associated Press
NEW YORK Oct. 15 — A Staten Island ferry slammed into a pier as it was docking Wednesday, killing 14 people, tearing off victims' limbs and sending passengers leaping into the water, officials said. At least 34 others were injured.
The 310-foot ferry, with a capacity of 6,000 passengers, plowed into the enormous wooden pilings on the Staten Island end of its run from Manhattan, reducing the front of the mighty boat to a mass of shattered planks, broken glass and twisted steel. [...]
BEIJING (Reuters) - Looking slightly dazed at all the fuss, China's first man in orbit returned to a hero's welcome Thursday, completing an historic odyssey and fueling the country's more ambitious dreams of a space station or space walk.
Yang Liwei emerged from the Shenzhou V capsule and waved, drawing cheers from the horde of 600 locals, recovery workers and police who greeted him on the chill, sunlit steppes of Inner Mongolia. [...]
Space officials, this mission under their belt, outlined future space ambitions Thursday and held out the prospect of cooperating with foreign partners.
Shenzhou VI would take to the heavens in the next one or two years, and future forays would include sending an astronaut on a space walk, docking two spacecraft and developing a "space lab," Xie Mingbao, director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office, told a news conference. [...]
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan added his congratulations, noting that, "as the exploration of space knows no national borders, the mission of the Shenzhou V is a step forward for all humankind."
Thursday 16 October 2003, 11:52 Makka Time, 8:52 GMT
Can’t remember your credit card number or computer password? Now you can solve the problem in the blink of an eye.
A high-tech solution to tackle your growing jumble of identity numbers and passwords, as well as to help whisk you through various security checks is becoming more widespread. And it's as plain as the nose on your face – or your fingerprint.
The concept is based on biometrics - technology that identifies individuals based on biological traits - and has begun to take off in a security-conscious world where credit card fraud and identity theft runs rife.
Imagine a quick scan of your iris, fingerprint or entire face to authorise a credit card transaction, speed your way through customs at the airport or log you onto your computer.
BABY food firms were yesterday urged to change their packaging over fears of a cancer causing chemical.
The European Food Safety Authority has found semicarbazide (SEM) in certain foods packed in glass jars and bottles with metal lids and plastic seals.
But the authority said parents did not need to stop feeding their children food from jars as the cancer risk was very small.
New Delhi |By Ajay Jha | 16-10-2003
Government organisations in New Delhi were criticised yesterday for failing to halt an outbreak of dengue fever, as the number of cases in the Indian capital soared past 800.
German police are searching for the man they say could be the most stupid burglar they have ever encountered. The unknown man broke into the building of a lumber sales company in Bremen during the night and violently assaulted a coffee machine which contained only tokens, despite a sign on the door explaining it did not take cash. He then went on to steal a mobile phone, which only works in the grounds of the company, and a cordless screwdriver - but forgot the batteries and charger. Finally, police say the intruder drank a can of coke -- 12 months past its sell-by date -- that had been standing in one of the offices. A police spokesperson said that the authorities are looking for a man “stranded with a load of useless junk, looks tired, is sick to his stomach and is probably the laughing stock of all his mates.”
KAKINADA (ANDHRA PRADESH):"I sacrificed 40 fowls to appease the goddess and got cured of my affliction," says Chakra Rao of Peddhada village. He believes that the mysterious disease that claimed the lives of three of his colleagues was nothing but the wrath of the goddess. [...]
The science of cannibalism has just become respectable, as irrefutable bio-molecular evidence that we have eaten each other for millennia spurs renewed efforts by archaeologists, geneticists and anthropologists to find out when we started to do it, and why. [...]
The question is why has cannibalism, by and large, stopped? The answer has less to do with innate decency or moral progress than with status. For most of the hunter-gatherer period a community could not afford not to eat its dead or its dead enemies. With farming came a certain pride in displaying a life of plenty. Human burials and cremations were (and are) acts of conspicuous consumption. [...]
Scientists have concluded growing GM herbicide-tolerant beet and spring rape is worse for wildlife than the conventional varieties.
But the results of UK-wide field-scale trials of GM crops, the largest of their type, also show that growing herbicide-tolerant GM maize was better for many groups of wildlife than conventional maize.
Scientists unveiling the long-awaited findings of the Farm Scale Evaluations (FSE) said some insects such as bees in beet crops and butterflies in beet and spring rape were recorded more often in and around the conventional crops because there were more weeds to provide food and cover.
There were also more weed seeds in conventional beet and spring rape crops than in their GM counterparts. These seeds are important in the diet of some animals and birds.
However the results, unveiled at the Science Centre in London, showed that some groups of soil insects were found in greater numbers in herbicide-tolerant GM beet and spring rape crops. [...]
ST. STEPHEN — An earthquake that shook windows and jolted residents from their sleep as it rumbled through southwestern New Brunswick early Wednesday was also felt in eastern Maine.
The Geological Survey of Canada, based in Ottawa, said the quake at 12:14 a.m. registered 3 on the Richter scale, enough to be felt by people but not enough to cause much damage. Its epicenter was about 13 miles east of St. Stephen. [...]
Mayon's danger zone extended (Philipines)
By: Ed De Leon With Pna Report
LEGAZPI CITY — The 6-kilometer-radius permanent danger zone (PDZ) from the crater downslope of Mount Mayon has been extended to seven kilometers at the southeastern quadrant facing this city and the neighboring towns of Daraga and Camalig to prepare for any eventualities relative to Mayon Volcano’s possible eruption. [...]
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Posted: 11:49 PM EDT
The storm had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (80 kph) Wednesday, an increase of 10 mph (16 kph) from the day before, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said. [...]
October 16, 2003 Posted: 4:41 AM EDT
In Maine, the same storm system spawned thunderstorms that knocked out power to tens of thousands, and Gov. John Baldacci declared a state of emergency.
Thousands of residents in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania also lost electric service because of the storm. [...]
PHOENIX - An asteroid discovered by Arizona astronomers last month passed within 52,000 miles of Earth — the closest documented approach of an asteroid that didn't collide with the atmosphere.
Close encounters with asteroids of its size, about 3 to 6 meters in diameter, are not unusual, astronomers believe, but catching images and documenting orbits of those asteroids are difficult. [...]
Comment: There are enough worries regarding asteroids that the various plans to nullify asteroids filter into the media now and then, particularly the more fantastic concepts like 'Tugboat' could push away asteroids.
Famous "lost" asteroid found again -- after 65
Hermes, a large asteroid that skimmed by the Earth in 1937 but has never been seen again, has been spotted once more after years of effort by astronomers, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) said.
"A bright near-earth candidate" reported by astronomer B.A. Skiff early Wednesday, was confirmed within four hours as Hermes by a visual sighting by another astronomer, the Paris-headquartered IAU's Minor Planet Center said in a circular received here Thursday.
Further calculations are being done to determine its orbit, although early estimates suggest that the rock, formally called 1937 UB (Hermes), takes a little more than two years to go around the Sun, the circular said.
Hermes created a stir when it flew by close to the Earth in October 1937 at a distance of less than a million kilometers (650,000 miles), just 60 percent further than the distance of the Earth to the Moon.
Estimated at the time to be about 800 metres (yards) across, Hermes swiftly disappeared from view, leaving doubts about whether its orbit would ever bring so close, or even closer, to the Earth.
Asteroids are speculated to be the rubble left over from the making of the Solar System -- space rocks that orbit the Sun, although sometimes at long and highly elliptical orbits.
Some of the world's highest mountains and largest lakes are shrinking, according to the most universally recognised reference atlas.
In the latest edition of The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World, published today, the leading peaks in three continents have had their heights revised downward from the previous edition four years ago.
But while this is mainly through more accurate surveying techniques, the maps chart the rapid retreat of bodies of water such as the Dead Sea and Lake Chad as a result of climate change and irrigation.
Among the mountains to lose height is Tanzania's Kilimanjaro, the tallest in Africa, which has lost three metres to stand at 5,892 metres (19,330.7ft).
Mount Cook in New Zealand, the highest peak in Australasia, was physically reduced by 10 metres (30.5ft) to 3,754 metres (12,316ft) following an avalanche of rock and ice in 1991 that removed the entire top. Aconcagua in the Andes, the loftiest point on the Americas continent, was reduced by a metre (3ft) to 6,959 metres (22,831ft), as was Mount Kosciuszko, Australia's highest mountain, which is now 2,229 metres (7,313ft) [...]
People from around the country have reported seeing an Unidentified Flying Object in the skies of Bahrain emitting strange lights for about a minute at around 11pm on Friday.
Bahraini Mohammed Jaffer Al Hajer was sitting with six of his friends outside his home in Qurrayah village near Budaiya when they noticed the UFO in the distant skies. Al Hajer ‘caught’ the strange object on his digital video camera as the lights appeared twice – once when the UFO emitted a bright yellow light and the second time when it split into two before disappearing.
"We first noticed the strange light appear to the left of the Batelco tower in the village," he said. "We saw it again just above the tower when I reached for my camera and began to video tape it." Al Hajer videotaped the object for about 40 seconds before it disappeared. The pictures were not clear because of the high speed of the object and the low resolution of the camera, according to Al Hajer. People in Manama also reported seeing the UFO at the same time and placed it between Manama and Muharraq, in the same vicinity as Al Hajer claimed.
However, sources at Bahrain International Airport tower told the Tribune that the radars there did not register any abnormal activity during that time. [...]
Mother, Daughter Claim Light Hovered Over Woods
UPDATED: 7:39 a.m. EDT October 15, 2003
HUNTSBURG, Ohio -- Gaze into the dark sky and you might be surprised at what is there.
The phrase UFO conjures up all kinds of thoughts. For some in Geauga County, it might have been more than a thought when they saw something glowing.
It was in Huntsburg in Geauga County late one August evening when nature's dark ceiling was the backdrop of strange movements in the sky, Bibb reported.
"A light hovering above our woods," said Michele Braun.
Braun and her daughter, Stephanie, recounted the story on Aug. 29. Neighbor kids had a backyard bonfire going. But in the distance away from the rising smoke came unusual movement. Those who saw it could neither judge its distance away nor its size, saying they only know what they saw.
"It would start off like a little ball, like a little white light coming toward us and then it come like a half-circle, a rod," Braun said.
From the backyard gathering, a boy grabbed his video camera. So Bibb offered the tale of his tape. It was an eerie sight unfolding, like a fiery ball which changes its shape, Bibb said. Rven the family dog became unnerved.
"Just like going in circles and then she jumped on my mom; on her shoulder and then on her head. Like it was weird," Stephanie Braun said.
Just off Chardon-Windsor Road in Huntsburg there have been other accounts of mysterious events, Bibb said. Sometimes people say the compass behaves wildly with their needles not always pointing north.
Are the events unexplainable? Bibb said, "Perhaps."
George W. Bush raised a few eyebrows during the 2000 presidential campaign when he responded to a question about releasing government files on unidentified flying objects. "It'll be the first thing he (Dick Cheney) will do," Bush said. "He'll get right on it."
Immediately upon assuming office, however, the Bush administration exhibited an impulse for even tighter controls on government information, long before the 9/11 security clampdown. From Bush's immediate suspension of the 1978 Presidential Records Act to Cheney's refusal to comply with a General Accounting Office request for the names of the Vice President's Energy Task Force members, patterns of concealment are consistent. Just last month, Bush signed Executive Order 12958, which gave the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy the unprecedented authority to declare information "Top Secret." [...]
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